I’ve never been one for dating. It’s just not for me. I would much rather be alone than share my time with someone else. I guess you could say Larry David and I are a lot alike in this respect, as well as our shared disdain for stop-and-chats.
OK, that sounds harsh – let me rewind.
I’m somewhat interested in dating. I’ve dated before. But I am not a serial dater. In fact, I’m not even a serial flirter. My version of flirting is quipping with a snarky remark when a guy asks me how I’m doing. If he can muster a slight smile in response, I consider it a successful flirtatious move. Surprising to most, I seldom have successful flirtatious moves, due, I imagine, to my extremely advanced sense of humor. But it could also be because I’m kind of a narcissist. Actually, can we go with humble narcissist? It makes me feel better about myself.
And now that I’ve admitted the obvious, I have a good segue to return to my first point. See, as a humble narcissist, I really enjoy time with myself. I mean, I don’t talk to myself or anything freakin’ weird like that, but I do enjoy sitting in silence by myself. I’ve listened to friends gripe about how they hate to be alone, because they get so bored and lonely. And I can see that. And then I think maybe sometimes I might be bored and lonely, but then I remember that when I’m hanging out with people, I often find myself desperately wishing they would leave so that I can return to chillin’ with my cool, not-annoying self.
I don’t think it’s that I hate people, because I really do sorta like people. Really! I think a few of them have some potential to not be jerks, and I even have quite a few non-jerks in my life that I totally cherish. Especially recently, I’ve felt the sting of solitude, tweeting about missing my friends two times in two weeks. I know, pathetic.
Update on life in the real world: I miss having friends
— Lyss-isms (@alyssaruane) October 6, 2015
But I’m not someone who needs someone. Thus by default, I’ve never been one for dating. If someone doesn’t awkwardly stumble into my life without me trying at all, then I’m probably not going to be seeing anyone. (Probably the worst thing for me to say if I’m trying to make my exes jealous. So if you’re an ex, I’m totally kidding! Ha ha! I am like such a hot commodity out in the dating world. I am going on all the dates. So many dates there are not enough dates on the calendar!)
Although I prefer not to waste my time with other people, I’ve been kind of… gulp… *lonely* without my friends. I need some sort of human interaction every now and then. So I’ve resorted to the unthinkable. I (re-)downloaded Tinder and newly recommended Bumble. I mostly go on these “dating” apps for a confidence boost. Since they’re solely based off looks, I’m totally OK with testing the waters to know where I stand out there on the 1-10 hotness scale. (Yes, we are back in middle school.) After all, you don’t want to be thinking you’re an 8.5 when you’re really a 6. Talk about a rude awakening. So I simply like to do a little hotness research, and I am satisfied when I match with people who I equate to my level of hotness, meaning the guys I find attractive also find me attractive. That’s it; I win. I usually don’t even chat with these guys. I simply rack up my matches, take my hotness trophy and exit the app before things get weird.
But sometimes – SOMETIMES – in moments of either feministic assertion or just extreme boredom, I engage in meaningless “conversations” with some of these guys. I tried trolling some of them, but it turns out I’m not good at trolling because my heart isn’t as black as I think it is and I start to feel bad about it. So when trolling fails and the cringe-worthy pickup lines fade, the flow of conversation is pretty standard: Where are you from? Where do you work? But then… then, the most dreaded question comes up like a bad sushi roll.
“What do you do for fun?”
This is the worst question. Job interviewers have asked this question. Random strangers just trying to get to know me have asked this question. It is the WORST QUESTION.
Upon being asked, I’m then forced to stall. “Hmm, uh, I don’t know, well, you know!” What do I do for fun? WHAT DO I DO FOR FUN? I rack my brain for answers. Why can’t I think of anything? Think, Alyssa. What do you do when you’re not around people?
Nothing. I do nothing.
The person asks again, as if I’m having trouble understanding (yeah, right.), “What are your hobbies?” HOBBIES. The word hobby makes me cringe almost as much as Tinder pickup lines. It reminds me of the cheesy commercials from the early days of online dating (I’m sensing a recurring theme), when users are asked to input their generic hobbies, and people are all like, ‘I love horseback riding, gardening, and long romantic walks on the beach!’
So when the Hobby Bomb is dropped, I find myself racking my brain again – but this time, I’m envisioning an online dating questionnaire and I’m looking towards the pre-labeled choices for inspiration. Through my mind, I’m going down the list: Horseback riding? Hate horses. Gardening? Black thumb. Movies? Too long. Reading? Puts me to sleep. Animals? Don’t trust ’em.
What are my hobbies? Lately in my idleness, I ask myself this question again and again. Think, Alyssa. What are you doing right now, in your free time? Well, I guess I’m sitting in silence. Looking at stuff, thinking about stuff. There are two things that come to mind when I try to name my hobbies. I like playing sports, and I like going out for drinks. Neither of these things are interesting or remarkable. And I don’t even play sports anymore because sports require more than one person, so that hobby really doesn’t even count. And my only hobby can’t be going out for drinks, for obvious reasons… Not that it’s an acceptable hobby to openly name in the first place.
So here I sit, back at square one. Behind my phone, on the other side of the employer’s desk, next to the stranger at the bar, stumbling to find the words to say when asked what I like to do for fun. Well, I like plenty of things. I like roller coasters, I like boating, I like live music, I like Broadway plays, I like shopping, I like comedy shows… But do I engage in these things on a regular enough basis to call them hobbies? No. These are just things I LIKE to do. I’m sure we all LIKE winning large sums of money, but is that something we do on a daily or weekly basis? Didn’t think so.
Generally speaking, I think everything is fun. As long as I’m doing something, I like it. I have interests, but not hobbies. I deliberately do nothing to fill my time, unless something is proposed upon me and I’m shuffled into it. In which case, I then enjoy it, but it’s not like I went out of my way to do it. I am totally fine doing nothing, even staring at a blank TV screen. Doing nothing outside, doing nothing inside, doing nothing in a car; you name it, nothing is the best!
Maybe I’m lazy. Maybe I’m a loser. Maybe I’m just a narcissist.
Call it what you want, but me, myself and I are having an awesome time hanging out, doing nothing. I just wish I could start a “Do Nothing” club so I and Matt LeBlanc and other people like us can do nothing together.
I’m just trying to get “doing nothing” to become socially acceptable enough to list as an activity on Match.com and name as a hobby in a Tinder conversation. Or, you know, to prove to employers that I have interests and I’m not a blonde blob of nothingness.
Wait. That’s exactly what I am.
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